December Daily® 2016 | My Hopes For You For

As we get closer to documenting December I've been thinking about what I'm hoping for you (and for me) this year. Here's what's been on my mind lately: 

I hope you find a rhythm that works for you. This might be working on your project daily, or a couple times a week, or weekly, or after December. This looks different for each and every one of us based on all kinds of factors including time, lifestyle, motivation, illness, access to a printer, etc. There isn't a right or a wrong way to approach this project. The key is to establish your own rhythm that works for you and stick with it as best as you can (begin flexible when you need to and coming back to it when you can). There is no rule that says you have to be done by the time December is over. I choose that as my personal method because I want/need to be ready to move onto other projects by then. 

I hope you know that this project is so much more about the stories you document than the products you use, purchase, or collect. I continue to maintain that the words and the photos are the most important thing - always has been, always will be. I create and sell products to help make the storytelling process easier and more intentional but the heart of all of it are the stories. I hope you will take this as an opportunity to look for and tell those stories that mean the most to you.  

I hope you find, as I have over the years, that this project can absolutely be a source of joy in the midst of the chaos of life. One of the reasons I continue to come back to December Daily® again and again is that it's become a touchstone for me in terms of how I experience the season. It helps me keep the focus on the most important things and it helps me look for joy even when I might not be feeling it. When you actively look for joy with an open heart, for things to be thankful for, and for magic in the season you will absolutely find it. Magic is something we make. Remember that the season you are currently in may be different next holiday season - capture what "is" in your life right now with the knowledge that things can, and will, change.

I hope you find that this project is an opportunity to savor the season (and complement it) vs. causing additional stress for yourself. If you find this project is causing you stress I recommend evaluating the source (time, printing issues, motivation, comparison, attitude, etc) and doing something about it. Again, make it work for you. Making it work for you might mean stopping looking at everyone else's project and just getting yours done. It can be way too easy to spend your precious "creating" time watching YouTube videos or scrolling Instagram vs. actually telling your own stories. Making it work for you might mean simplifying your process and letting go of a vision of what you "think" it should be and making it what it needs to be for you instead. Making it work for you might mean working to establish your own version of enough. You don't need to go out and find a hundred extra things during your holiday season just so you have something to document. The small, quiet stories of days at home are beautiful and meaningful. 

I hope you find that this project gives you an opportunity to be creative & play & have fun. To play with some products, to reflect on the stories, to find that awesome sweet spot between stories and stuff. Creativity can mean so many different things - from getting really messy with inks and paint to playing with digital products to enlarging photos to crafting your words in a way that tells your most authentic story. 

I hope you will remember that it doesn't ever - never ever - need to be perfect. What in the heck does that even mean anyway? What's perfect is an effort: an effort to get down your stories of the season and an effort to create opportunities for yourself and your family to find greater meaning in the season (whatever that looks like for you). I have ten years of albums for a total of 250 stories (one story per day). If I had worried about all those stories and photos and stuff being perfect I never would have gotten any of those stories written down. When I look back through those albums now what I'm most thankful is that I took the time to do it - to experience each season with a focus on looking for and documenting joy and magic and love and collecting them together into something tangible that can be held in our hands. It's never been about creating something perfect - it's always been about creating something that celebrates the season. 

I hope this project will connect you with a community of memory keepers who will cheer you on, lift you up, and value your story. One of the side benefits of this project is the community that has built up around sharing our December stories. People from all over the world looking for joy, taking photos, sharing ideas, and valuing their individual story. I also love reading about 

I hope you remember that your story is valuable and worth telling no matter your current life situation. No matter what. Your story is worth telling. 

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29 thoughts

  1. dawnnikol says…
    11/10/2016

    All of this. Even the seasoned December Daily people need this reminder sometimes. Thank you, Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. janazavitz says…
    11/10/2016

    Thank you Ali! This post really spoke to me. I am going to focus on the stories this year so that I actually do the album, and not worry so much about comparing it to others. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Lize says…
    11/10/2016

    Yes to what you said, Ali. I recently reminded myself that December is not about December Daily, December daily is about December. What I mean by that is that the moments in December are there to be lived and enjoyed, and record along the way. They are not firstly there to make a nice album. I suppose it's about focus if it makes any sense.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/10/2016

      Yes, this: "December is not about December Daily, December Daily is about December." Totally.

    2. ddownes says…
      11/14/2016

      Yes yes yes. this is so on point. perfectly said and truer than true.

  4. ScrappinMyHeartOut says…
    11/10/2016

    Truths galore in this post Ali. Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. cindylucky says…
    11/10/2016

    very well said! Thanks for sharing your "hopes"

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. KirstenJ says…
    11/10/2016

    Thank you Ali - I am so guilty of self-induced perfectionism and stress. I get in my own way on the daily. I'm going to read this reminder again and again. And try once more to actually create a December Daily without getting bogged down and quitting in frustration.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. cryslee444 says…
    11/10/2016

    Love this!!! I have done this project for the past 2 years and loved it but before starting I always struggled with whether I should continue to do it. I don't have children so I think it's just going to be the same as last year and wonder if its worth it. It is totally worth it because it does help me look for the magic every day and reminds me why I love this season so much. Mine and my husbands story matters whether we have kids or not and that for me is the important thing to remember. Both my husband and I love the 2 past albums I have done so clearly it is worth it. I need this reminder every year and this post came at the perfect time so THANK YOU ALI!!!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. jeanmanis says…
    11/10/2016

    Thank you - great points! You've inspired me to write my stories and I couldn't be happier.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Auntwendy says…
    11/10/2016

    Ali. Does the December Daily class contain writing prompts? Or is the general idea to document a memory/thought for each day?
    Thanks!
    Wendy

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/10/2016

      It definitely includes writing ideas! In the content for Week 2 there is a 10 page PDF that includes a Story Menu of ideas/prompts + a main video overview of stories (30 mins) + a video that walks through my 9 favorite story themes (35 mins) and my 9 favorite photo stories (22 mins). That's just content in Week Two :)).

  10. JessUrrutia says…
    11/10/2016

    So glad I read this. Thanks! I set some special days to get my FIRST December daily ready...and i just signed for your class. Yay!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Barleybriar says…
      11/10/2016

      Hi ya Jess!! This is my first also and I'm taking the class as well! Glad to know someone "new" is with me :)

  11. SFK14 says…
    11/10/2016

    Last night I took the time to play with some pages and supplies while I watched the video for Week 2. It was so much fun I could hardly tear myself away to go to bed - and then when my cat woke me up at 4 am, I briefly considered getting up two hours early to go back to playing! A reason to play is exactly what I need right now. Loving this workshop.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. sparkle says…
    11/10/2016

    Ali, Thank you for inviting us to live and document our lives, not only with December Daily, or One Little Word or DITL, but in the whole of our lives. Years from now, we will look back and be so grateful for your voice that has been a constant reminder for us to 'watch for the moments'. No matter how many stories we try to tell (and we tell many), there will still be stories untold, but many more will bubble up when we least expect it, because we had your voice encouraging us to watch for them. Thank you for investing in our lives. Sharon

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Kary13 says…
    11/10/2016

    One thing that helped me was remembering that the only people who would see my December Daily was my family (and maybe a few friends), and mine was the only one they would ever see. They wouldn't compare it against anything--mine was the original as far as they were concerned. That meant I could stop worrying about how mine compared with anyone else's, that if I wanted to scraplift anything I wouldn't feel "less creative" because of it, and if some creative experiment didn't turn out the way I'd envisioned it--no big deal. It has been very freeing, and I highly recommend it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. cagoodm says…
    11/10/2016

    Love your note about 250 stories! Zooming out and thinking about the whole of the project over the years is such an interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing, Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Paper_Inkpressions says…
    11/11/2016

    We've replaced the PERFECT with PROGRESS: "Practice makes Progress!" is our family motto as there is no such thing as PERFECT and everyone interprets this word differently. I still struggle with the whole perfectionist mentality I've been dealt. Thanks for keeping it real with your blog posts Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. angiereimer32 says…
    11/11/2016

    I would love to be able to use your "december daily HOPES" as an overlay/brush for my intentions/reasons why page this year. Any chance you would make this available in your shop? Absolutely love the message and needed the reminder today for sure.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/14/2016

      Here you go: http://bit.ly/AEdd16freebie. Thank you again for being part of this community!

  17. kelsterjean says…
    11/12/2016

    What a beautiful post and reminder about what is important. It is sad to me that I have not fully completed one December Daily album and missed opportunities to document my life at that time. Last year, a week before Christmas, my Grandpa passed away. We also put our very loved bunny to sleep this past March, and will be going through a fertility process right before Christmas. The holidays do look different and are different each year, and it's something I'd like to capture. Thank you for this reminder Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. jamiepate says…
    11/14/2016

    This was so good. Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. beeroark_gmail_com says…
    11/14/2016

    Love this post and all the hopes. I read each one and plan to print this as a reminder of all the things that I need to look at, document and realize the importance of each one. Thank you Ali.
    Betty R

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Jeannew says…
    11/14/2016

    Love this. And the part about not needing to be perfect. Our lives aren't perfect so why should our albums be? I love this project and looking back at my December stories.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. petrac says…
    11/15/2016

    Ali I hope that you realise how much we all appreciate all the love and effort that you put into your work. I hope you realise how much you open doors for us to share, express and document our lives. I hope you know that you help us all open ourselves to feelings and stories that may otherwise stay untold. Most of all I hope you know that we are thankful for what you do for us and this community because I know it takes a lot of time, energy and effort. I truly believe when someone does something they love and they have the opportunity to turn it into a career the most wonderful things happen and the love they have seeps though everything they do. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your Family Ali. And from the sincerest part of my heart. Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Cbutters says…
    11/16/2016

    Ali, the last sentence, thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Raylene says…
    11/18/2016

    Since I am living alone, I find that December Daily prompts me to plan Christmas activities to document, like visits to greenhouses, plays, concerts, tv specials & movies and Christmas community events like tree lighting and lots more . . . that I normally wouldn't have taken part in. All because of December Daily!! It's changed how I see Christmas now!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. sheenajohnson says…
    09/07/2017

    Reading this post from nearly a year ago, your words still hold true. Not only for this project but all of our storytelling. Whatever we can do, it is enough. Thank you for all you do.

    Reply 0 Replies

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